Falmouth will recognize Memorial Day with its annual observance to remember those who have died in military service at the Falmouth Public Library lawn on Monday, May 29.
A procession from the Falmouth Village Green to the library lawn will begin at 9:45 AM, with the ceremony starting at 10 AM.
“I’ll be there,” said James M. Crossen, who helped lead the procession last year.
Mr. Crossen, a World War II veteran, has been coming to the observance since he moved to Falmouth in 1955.
“It’s very important to me and my family,” Mr. Crossen said.
He and his five brothers all served in the armed forces. Mr. Crossen said he goes to the observance every year to be with other veterans in the town.
The event draws a crowd from Falmouth and beyond.
“We have the best turn out of any town on the Cape,” said Adrian C.J. Dufrense, who will give opening remarks at the event. “We’ve got it down to a science.”
Mr. Dufresne, a Korean War veteran, said he has been involved with the event for at least 40 years. He will also read the names of Falmouth’s fallen veterans.
The observance brings all ages of the community together.
A combined Falmouth school band will play the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” and the Greater Falmouth Community Chorus will sing a Navy hymn.
Boy scouts and representatives from the fire and police departments will retire the colors at the close of the event.
“There is a sense of community,” Dorrance (Don) E. Lincoln Jr., director of veterans affairs, said of the ceremony.
The keynote speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel Paula Smith, who is retired from the US Army. Ahmed Mustafa, chairman of the Falmouth Veterans’ Council, said that he met Lt. Smith at a Morse Pond Veterans Day activity and invited her to talk at the observance. Chosen speakers over the years have reflected different military voices, both men and women and those in active service and retired.
“Getting ideas from everyone—that is what makes the event better,” Mr. Mustafa said.
A new addition this year is the reading of Governor Charlie Baker’s Memorial Day proclamation by Lawrence student Siobhan Morris. Siobhan is the Falmouth representative for Project 351, a youth service organization started by then-Governor Deval Patrick in 2011. Each Massachusetts town has an 8th grade Project 351 ambassador.
As the event closes, Mr. Mustafa will introduce Thomas Couhig from Fellowship Health Resources, which is offering a new veterans’ transportation program. This service can help veterans travel to the Providence VA Medical Center, for instance.
After the ceremony, Mr. Mustafa and Mr. Dufresne will perform the laying of the wreath at the Sailors’ Memorial. A lunch held at the Elks Lodge and sponsored by the Falmouth Military Support Group will follow.
This support group will also have a table set up at the World War I memorial with information and services to support those in active duty and their families.
Both Mr. Mustafa and Mr. Dufresne are hoping for clear skies on Monday, though rain has not deterred people from attending in the past.
“During those rain storms, I never saw anyone leave,” Mr. Mustafa said. “I compliment the Town of Falmouth. There is a great group of people in the town.”